Poetry and Prose
I have danced the dance of no return.
And come back.
I have breathed my last, gasping breath
And breathe again.
I have wallowed in the muck
Of my own undoing
And been cleansed in it.
I have seen my face, twisted
By the deeds of my own arrogance
And can now smile.
I have heard my voice,
breaking into a million fragments of meaningless dialogue
And sing anew.
I have laughed with the Devil,
Sobbing, hysterical, at the torn cloud of me,
And now laugh at him.
I have burned my feet in the fires of Hell,
And trod wearily, hopefully, on.
I have faced and refaced the Scorpion of Horror
And now ride upon his back.
I have sat in the councils of kings and gods
The shit-slime of my sins
Fouling their presence
And they have washed my feet
For their song is my song.
Fighting, struggling against the
Black midnight of my soul
Each spinning moment more
Crucial than the one before.
Spiraling upward, gasping for
Light, gasping for touch
Grasping for the world
Above the surfaces of my
Each moment of meanness
Every inflicted wound
All actions against anyone
Rubbed into the locked
Trunk of self-righteousness
Stuffed into the nostrils of
My all-seeing eye
Until the only answer
The only prayer
The only escape
Is into the warm waters
Of healing Death.
I have been shown brief glimpses
Of my Godly Good.
And had them snatched away.
The words ringing and the
“There! There is where it’s at.
You can have it!
Work for it!
Build it anew!
It is yours!
It has always been yours!
It is everyone’s!”
And I fall on my knees, tears
Streaming and heart aburst.
Clawing at the dirt.
Listen To Me
I would like to tell you something. I would like to tell you of the love that I have within me. I have seen the night sparkle with love as I took my wife in Holy Love on a mountainside under the stars.
I have seen love in the faces of my children as they come in from play or fall exhausted after a “special” day.
I know the love of my friends welcoming me into their hearts & homes after a long journey to see them.
I know the love of my friends giving me half of their food with no knowledge of their getting more food, because I was hungry.
I have felt the love of strangers coming to me for the music that I gave them.
I know the love of a man giving himself to me in the pages of a book or the words of a poem.
The Search Must Go On
Somewhere there is peace and warmth, roots and belonging for me. I find it in the love and passion of my wife. I find it in the joy and wonder of my children. I find it in the love and understanding of my friends. I find it in music deeply felt and sincerely played. I find it in art accurately seen and with love beheld. I find it in poetry, truly heard and fiercely related. I see it in the earth, untouched by man. I see it when men alter the earth with love and only with love.
But man cannot and should not have these things as moments snatched out of the stream, wrested from the torrent by sheer force. Man can and must live with love and beauty as his daily bread. Loving and giving, being loved and receiving. Men have brought evil to the world and perpetuate this evil with ‘property rights’, economics, politics, nations, societies, governments, schools, ownership and the list goes on.
Expediency and greed. It is a great and evil game, the rules made up as you go along.
Man, caught in the deceit of economics and society, becomes incapable of giving the only thing to his family that has any relation to that which he has promised to give: love, kindness and understanding. He therefore gives them (out of guilt) that which rots and undermines them: material bribes, comforts and luxuries. Their minds, hearts and souls are delivered into the bloodied and filthy hands of the teachers, clergy, and “official” authoritarians. All of this justified simply by the statement, “I don’t have time. I must make a living”. I must make a living that every moment of this adds to the dying.
In this effort and all that comes with it, a rottenness, a festering hatred develops within. Man, unable and unwilling to break out of this gigantic fraud, turns to more hatred and more greed to ease the burden of guilt for what he is doing.
But we must return to the world of love and beauty. For it is surely there. I want only the freedom to create this world, for that is how it is found. I must say “I don’t have time to make a dying, I am much too busy giving love to my family, my friends, and all who will accept it.”
Henry Miller must stand as a giant if for no other reason than the gift of the phrase, “nights of love and laughter”. This is what I seek. Love completely unbridled and defenseless. And the kind of laughter that can be shared only by people with this love. Miller has this love, for if he didn’t he couldn’t write with the absolute honesty and baring of his soul as he does.
Kenneth Patchen, of course, has it as much as any human has ever had it or probably as much as any human can ever have it. Patchen’s love is so loud, so intense, so terrifying in it’s demand that he is an embodiment of all that we should seek. Patchen’s cry goes out and touches every heart that it encounters and when the heart is capable of responding in kind to that cry, the emotion that is generated leaves you weeping. When the heart is beyond repair, rotten to the point of no possible recovery from the cancer and fester within it, the heart turns the full wrath of it’s guilt, self-hatred, and self-pity on him. Patchen’s burden is to keep the beacon lit through the long night of sickness and despair and spiritual self-denial, bringing love and laughter to the few that are still able to have it. Patchen will continue to be crucified and vilified by the “experts” and by the love-less outcasts from the world of beauty forever. But the beacon will burn and Patchen’s love will never falter. For in crucifying him, only the souls of the crucifiers will be nailed to the cross, and in the vilification, only the vilifiers will suffer. For his language is no longer for them. The door was shut when the fraud was accepted.
Mary Ann is my wife. If nothing else in the world comes to me, I can be content with that. I state my love for her now and in every action that I take. I can no longer live in a world of half-love, giving to her only what is left after the toll of “society” has been extracted. We will eat and be sheltered. But more important, we will love and laugh. Here is my peace. Here is my warmth. Here is the wall against the hatred of the world of men. My love is the wall.
I love you